What’s the difference between a song and an instrumental? Words. When the words of a song aren’t clear enough to be easily understood you don’t have a good instrumental—or a good song. One thing that successful singers have in common is their focus on making the words understandable. After all, you sing this song because it means something to you. You can’t share that with poor diction. Many less successful singers and bands never quite seem to understand that. They know the words in their heads and assume the listeners just kind of “know” them too. Unfortunately though, if the words can’t be understood; the song won’t be understood.
You may ask, “But, once the essence of the song is clear and the hook is obvious can’t you play with the words even if they’re not all clear?” Sure you can, but you should always assume that each performance is the first time these listeners have heard the song. Don’t risk leaving them out of the experience.
Now that we’re on the same page let me tell you a little about the Vocal Coach Complete Diction CD. In Complete Diction, Carole and I walk you through a very practical look at how you can sing really clear words without sounding too mechanical, or too stiff. And, because diction is a physical process using the lips, tongue and teeth it is easy to memorize what each word feels like. Then, it’s just like any other kind of muscle memory. It’s there for instant recall any time you sing
I should also stress that this applies to absolutely any style of music. Good diction won’t take away your personal style or feel. It will just make the words clear to the listener, and that’s a good thing.
Do you find that you struggle to be understood when you sing? What situations make good diction more difficult for you? Let me know in the comments, I’m here to help.